2 natural ways to neutralize bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a serious disease that can derail a person’s life.

Mood swings, delusions, agitation, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, reckless behavior, and other symptoms tear through your world like a tornado, destroying relationships, ruining careers and in some cases, taking lives.

Most people need medication to get these serious symptoms in check and get their life back on track. But just because you’re taking medication, doesn’t mean you can’t also use natural approaches to promote a more balanced mood.

In fact, there are two natural approaches that research shows improve bipolar symptoms and make life better for people with this challenging condition.

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How to make bipolar symptoms less severe

If you’re looking for simple, safe ways to decrease the severity of your bipolar symptoms, I have two suggestions for you.

The first is probiotics.

It’s no secret that your gut and brain are connected thanks to the gut-brain axis. And in recent years, researchers have confirmed that the bacteria in your gut (or missing from your gut) impacts your mental health.

In the case of bipolar disorder, a new study from researchers at Baltimore Sheppard Pratt Health System shows that people who took a probiotic along with their medication didn’t need to return to the hospital as quickly and spent less time in the hospital overall. In fact, probiotics reduced the hospital readmission rate by 74 percent. They also reduced the time spent in the hospital by 90 percent.


Because probiotics decreased intestinal inflammation, and intestinal inflammation is a driving factor behind bipolar disorder. Previous research shows intestinal inflammation makes bipolar disorder more severe. And in this latest study, people with the highest levels of inflammation had the most dramatic results from taking probiotics.

My second suggestion is exercise.

I know a lot of people are skeptical that something as simple as exercise can make a difference when you have a serious condition like bipolar disorder, but it can.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health recently found that people with bipolar disorder who maintained high activity levels also had much better moods.

Related: The strange symptom that makes this mood disorder harder to treat

Higher activity levels led to better energy levels and better sleep too. These benefits could be particularly helpful when you’re going through the depressive side of bipolar disorder.

Getting started with probiotics and exercise

What are the best probiotics to take for bipolar disorder?

In this most recent study, researchers created a special probiotic formulation designed to reduce inflammation in the gut. It contained Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, so invest in a probiotic that delivers the same species.

When it comes to exercise, you know the drill — squeeze in as much as you can. If you can set aside 30 minutes per day seven days a week to exercise, great. If not, do it four or five days a week. If you can’t find time to set aside just for exercise, incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Do you know what’s great exercise?

Cleaning. You can also give your car a break and walk or bike whenever possible. Yard work’s fabulous exercise too. So is snow shoveling. If you have a sedentary job, you could even invest in office equipment that helps you get more exercise, like an under-the-desk elliptical or bike.

There you have it! Plenty of ways to get the movement you need to improve your mood. Plus, a tip for getting the probiotics that can keep serious bipolar symptoms from sending you to the hospital. Hopefully, these simple tips help you get your bipolar disorder in check and your life back on track.


  1. Probiotics could help millions of patients suffering from bipolar disorder — MedicalXpress
  2. Increased motor activity linked to improved mood — ScienceDaily
  3. Real-time Mobile Monitoring of the Dynamic Associations Among Motor Activity, Energy, Mood, and Sleep in Adults With Bipolar DisorderJAMA Psychiatry
  4. Bipolar disorder — Mayo Clinic
  5. Probiotics for bipolar disorder mania — Harvard Medical School
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.